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August 4, 2017

Ally McDonald

Fife, Scotland

Q. A couple solid rounds this week, you've got to be pretty pleased with that?
ALLY McDONALD: It's definitely a good start, 36 holes, just looking forward to the weekend now.

Q. It's your first find of taste of links golf over last week and this week. How are you enjoying the challenge?
ALLY McDONALD: It's good. It's a completely different style of golf. Last week, I joked that I kind of had beginner's luck I think on Thursday, and then Friday it really got me.

But you know, I think it's a good test. I enjoy it. You can kind of use your imagination on some shots. So I'm happy to be here.

Q. It's been a real whirlwind week, you went through qualifying on Tuesday, get here, you get maybe one practise round and then out on Thursday. What were your expectations coming in?
ALLY McDONALD: Well, I feel like I was able to prepare as I would any week. You never know with Pro-Ams whether you get in or not. But I knew I wouldn't be in through qualifying, so I knew straightforward up and front that I was going to be playing Wednesday, first time to see the course.

But I was able to hear a few things here and there from other players, and me and my caddie got through 18 holes on Wednesday early.

Q. Have your expectations on what you can do over the weekend?
ALLY McDONALD: Just trust me and know the process and the work that I've put in, so I know what I'm capable of. It's a challenge I think, just because there is 36 holes and one hole, you just have to take it one hole at a time. I'm looking forward to the challenge and playing 36 more this woke end and hopefully give it my best shot.

Q. Back-to-back 68s, you must be pretty pleased with your progress around Kingsbarns so far this week.
ALLY McDONALD: Yeah, it's been a good 36 holes. I missed the first green of the day which kind of threw me off. 18 greens in a row yesterday, that was fine. My one bogey of the day, got it away early, and played really solid golf for 17 holes after that.

Q. You did have the best of the conditions yesterday morning and the weather came in a little bit this afternoon. How different was it for you playing out there today?
ALLY McDONALD: It was a little different. I think the wind direction shifted, too, so we really saw some completely different holes as far as downwind, into the wind. But I think a few of the holes played a little easier. There are a couple of really long holes if it gets into the wind and we had those downwind today. It was a good 18 holes that I played solid golf. Looking forward to the weekend.

Q. Now this is your first ever appearance in this event. You missed the cut in the Ladies Scottish last week, and you cut yourself some slack because it was your first experience in links golf. How proud are you of what you've done through two days so far?
ALLY McDONALD: I've put myself in position which is all you can do. You can't win it after 36 holes but I'm very pleased with how I've played and I look forward to hopefully playing my best this weekend and see where it puts me.

Q. Was Evian your first trip overseas?

Q. Is this No. 3?
ALLY McDONALD: Australia, so four.

Q. Have you made a trek into town?
ALLY McDONALD: Yeah, I'm actually staying in St. Andrews. I stumbled upon -- I was actually thinking about staying at the Dunvegan because that was the only place I heard that had any sort of room available there in the area, and Stacy Lewis heard me talking about it and she had a spare bedroom in her suite, literally just across the road. So she was very kind and is letting me stay. I have a room to myself.

Q. Is that the same place she stayed when she won?
ALLY McDONALD: Yeah, because Sheena was the one with the Dunvegan, set her up in it I think.

Q. She's been staying there since the Curtis Cup.
ALLY McDONALD: That's what everybody was saying when I was walking around St. Andrews. I heard Dad was saying maybe the caddie or something that she had in the Curtis Cup, something like that.

Q. So how does it feel? Is it a little surreal, your first Women's British Open?
ALLY McDONALD: Yes and no I guess. You know, I kind of -- I really believe in myself and know what I've done to be where I am. So you know, we're only to the halfway point. Anything can happen. But all you can do through 36 is put yourself in a good position. I've done that and we'll see what happens on the weekend.

Q. Is there any experience you're calling on this week?
ALLY McDONALD: Yeah, the Scottish last week was my first links golf.

Q. So four --
ALLY McDONALD: Just over seven, if you count a practise round on Tuesday, even though I was halfway asleep. Because I landed at 7.00am Tuesday morning and had to play 18 holes, because Wednesday was the Pro-Am and you can't get on the golf course. I stumbled around that course and got some rest after.

Q. If your links is quite fresh, your experience, have you found that you naturally enjoyed it or are you having to learn very quickly?
ALLY McDONALD: I think it let's you use your imagination to be honest, and with wind, you've got some slopes that you can kind of play off of if the pin is in a certain place. It is a different style of golf but I've enjoyed it this week and a half I guess.

Q. And there's been no experience before, using the grounds to your advantage and using your imagination?
ALLY McDONALD: I wouldn't say typically. I think most of the courses in the States require a lot of carry. You see -- you have bunkers out here but you don't really see anything, no release quite like they will around here.

Q. At the Curtis Cup, you played Georgia Hall end of the second day. Do you remember that at all?

Q. And she's up there, as well. Are there any memories of that match that resonate?
ALLY McDONALD: I don't feel like I played Georgia. I feel like I played Annabel.

Q. The results say you and Georgia played, was it fourballs on Saturday?
ALLY McDONALD: It was fourball. Not individual. Yeah, I mean, I just feel like it's such great competition in the Curtis Cup, that you see eight of the finest players battle it out.

I think it's no surprise to see the majority of the players from Curtis Cup go on to have great careers after that. It is exciting. Like I said, 36 holes in, I've put myself in a great position and that's all I could hope for through two days. Still got two more days to go, 36 holes, and I'm going to take it one shot, one hole at a time and hopefully I can put together 36 good holes.

Q. Have you gone on the bridge or done anything?
ALLY McDONALD: Me and Katherine Kirk played one through four on Tuesday at 5.20, we teed off. We played one through four and then it started pouring. So I said, you know what, if I can just walk over and walk down 17, 18, I'm good.

So we kind of walked over and had a look around and then walked in and grabbed dinner at the Dunvegan with our fellowship group.

Q. Was that better than the Pro-Am, probably?
ALLY McDONALD: Yeah, probably, missed St. Andrews, which Katherine has played it twice but I've never played it. It was really cool. Really cool to walk across the bridge and everything.

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